Colorado Springs Real Estate and Community

 

 

Aug. 17, 2018

Avoid Home Foreclosure - Facing Foreclosure? Some Options That May Help You

 

If you are facing a foreclosure, there may be choices to bargain a workout program with your lender. To get assistance with a foreclosure you have to begin by talking to your lender. Support is available if you are ready to work out a reasonable repayment plan with your lender, while this can sometimes be difficult, you may be able to save your home. They truly do not want your house back. Let us cover some choices that may be open to you if you are facing a foreclosure.

The continuous flow of creditors and collections organizations called you can be tiring, while it may be miserable, you may have choices. Starting with the most important, your home, the others may have to wait and be fixed later.

Lenders usually will offer several options to a homeowner that is in default on their contractual obligations of a mortgage payment. They would much rather workout a program that is best suited for all parties involved then to come and take your house. They are in the business of lending money, not managing properties. This is true even more today, with foreclosures at record highs, banks have been overloaded with homes that they must not manage and maintain until they are able to sell them to someone else.

The time that you have to negotiate a deal, is often very limited. In most states, a borrower that is in default 60 or more days is just about out of time. This period varies from state to state so make sure that you have checked your local laws. Lenders can and will take legal action to foreclosure on your home if you are not talking to them.

Here are some possible solutions that you can offer to the lender to avoid foreclosure. While not all will be satisfactory to the lender, you can at least make the offer and let them tell you.

Reduced Payments

Lenders may be willing to take a reduced payment for a specific period, this will allow you to remain in the home and catch up the default amount over time. Some lenders will not allow you to do this, but it never hurts to try.

Short Sale

Lenders may let you sell the property for less than what they are owed on the loan. More and more lenders are allowing this type of transaction as they have realized that it costs them much more to pursue the foreclosure then if they just settle and take what they can get.

Payment Deferment

Some lenders may allow you to defer a payment or two, they tack the payments on the end of the loan and allow you time to catch up and stay current. This option is only just now beginning to become available as lenders are doing whatever they can to help avoid the foreclosure process.

While this article only covers a few options that may be available, check with your lender and try to work something out, it may keep you from losing you home in the process. Keep in mind that a foreclosure will cost you money, even if you just walk away. The impact on your credit is substantial and will hinder your borrowing power for years to come.

 

Posted in Real Estate News
Aug. 16, 2018

Avoid Home Buying Blues at Closing

 

Buying a home is a demanding and sensitive affair. You can prevent the home buying blues by keeping calm at closing.

I am just coming from a settlement table at which a friend purchases a new condo. It's beautiful, suitable and exactly what she wanted. But, at the settlement table, she and a relation whom she truly loves got into an argument with each other. What should have been a happy circumstance was almost ruined. Thank goodness they got themselves together and the case was saved, but arguments and offended feelings are common at settlement tables and on moving day. It doesn't have to be that way.

The Trauma of Change

Changing one's home is right up there with the big changes in life - birth, death, divorce, and retirement. Most of us recognize the trauma of the first three. Many of us recognize the need to prepare mentally and emotionally for retirement. Few of us understand how severe buying and relocating to a new home fray our nerves and reduces our tempers. It can have grave consequences. I've seen deals blow up, and almost blow up, because of it. (Sometimes the protagonists are the buyer and seller.)

Mitigating Moves

There are a number of things you can do to ensure that the day you buy or sell your home is calm, sane and happy. Let's consider some of them. Some are easy and others are harder. You're apt to think of some which will be unique to you and your family.

First of all, simply realizing that these are flash points and discussing it with family members is a good starting point. There are many decisions to be made and much work to be done. Life is about to change for everyone who is a party to the process. It helps to just acknowledge that you'll need to work together so that it's a good experience for everyone in the end. Remember the expression, "I need to take a deep breath and get my equilibrium back." Clue in family members when you feel the tension rise.

Get a good night's sleep the night before the settlement. Have a good, unrushed breakfast. Have somebody you know very well look after little children and pets until after settlement; you don't need diversions during a big financial transaction.

At settlement, ask questions about anything you don't understand. Use a quiet, neutral voice. Don't sound like you are accusing someone of something. Simply ask for information and clarity. Don't feel rushed. Take the time to understand. Many of the arguments I've seen at the settlement table happened because someone assumed something and didn't ask about it. They just pitched into an irritated tirade. Not a good idea.

What if your questions turn up an unexpected and unacceptable answer? Let it be known that you expected it to be handled another way and why. Listen to any explanation calmly. Evaluate it. Does the other person have a valid point? How much difference does it make to you? Remember, it isn't necessary to have everything exactly as you'd like in order to have the transaction go well for you. Keep the big picture in mind. You don't have to be right about everything, nor do you have to win every point in order to be pleased with the final outcome.

Whether or not you call it closing or settlement, the final meeting will be hectic even if everything absolutely goes perfectly. Ensure you get through it by reducing the stress.

 

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 15, 2018

Avoid Foreclosure: An Option That Many Do Not Know About

 

Looking down the barrel of a foreclosure, if you are among one of the over 1.4 million homeowners facing this same issue, there may be a creative technique to save your home. Save your home and equity so that you can try again. The last thing that you want to do is give your home back to the financier.

If your financial hardship has left you in a position whereby you are not able to pay your mortgage payment, whatever the reason may be, then you cannot afford to live in your home. Foreclosures are raising a dilemma for most homeowners in the United States as of today; foreclosures are at an all-time high. Alan Greenspan has made comments that the US may be heading for a recession in 2008.

Some lenders out there have not been playing fair, and some even to the point of unethical practices. These corrupt practices are the main reason for foreclosures that are at an all-time high and not predictable to slow in 2008, from what most professionals have believed.

On the positive side, you may have a choice that may let you save your home, though the foreclosure procedure is already in progress. Something that has been around for several years, and you may likely use to save your equity and home. You may have to wait a year or two so as to cash out the equity on the property, but it is better than the others.

This option is referred to as a Lease Purchase Agreement, find a tenant to lease your home from you, with an option to purchase the home at the end to the agreed period of time; usually 12 to 24 months. You set a price for them to buy the house when the agreement is signed; this will allow you to set the price so you can save the equity and by some time to recover. With a renter that has the choice to buy your home you may be able to:

1) Firstly is the prevention of a foreclosure

2) Because renters are paying less today due to the increase in foreclosure rates, this may be a way to increase the monthly rent, due in light of the buying agreement

3) A one-time payment, up-front as a non-refundable deposit, this is usually 1% - 3% of the sales price. The best part of this is that even if they decide not to buy your home, you still keep the money

4) Swiftly locate a buyer for your property; most times faster than trying to sell your home in the traditional manner

5) Someone else will be paying the mortgage payment and potentially a few hundred dollars a month more

Lease Purchase Agreements typically work well in any real estate market; this agreement means a "lease option" also. This is a very valued strategy to remember, particularly during a market that in a distress.

While there may be several other reasons to take advantage of a lease option, they are definitely a brilliant way to avoid foreclosure and salvage your home from the bank. In a foreclosure, your credit will be ruined for years to come, and the extra financial consequences can take a toll on your own life.

 

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 14, 2018

Avoid Buying into Bats: A Thorough House Inspection Includes Checking for Sign of Bats

 

Two times now, I have seen a bat in our house. My husband and I just bought this house. As wary, first-time buyers we ensure to cross all our t's and dot all of our I's. We employed a trustworthy home inspector and he spent hours inspecting all imaginable or possible problems with our to-be home. The house was constructed in 65' and as predictable, the inspection brought up a few fears. What appeared to seem like petty and feasible: until the bats flew in.

Now, I am not certain if we have a bat colony nestling in the house. But looking at my husband flailing around the house, hitting at these moth-like flying mammals, all the while experiencing my first lock-myself-in-the-bathroom shouting session, was sufficient to begin a full investigation. I called the bat police. If we have bats in the house, their elimination will be a possibly costly service. Similarly, there are precise health worries that set off important alarm bells. So, let's talk bats, in hopes that as you look into the purchase of your next home, you make sure to check for the tell-tale signs.

First off, just to get you thinking seriously about this concern, consider the fact that bats are not pests. In most states, as in most places in the world, these unique critters are both endangered and protected. Indeed, when I first googled my problem, I was expecting a sea full of comforting headlines: BAT EXTERMINATORS AT YOUR SERVICE. GET YOUR EFFECTIVE BAT POISON HERE. This was not the case. Most of my research sang to the tune of bats being the least understood and most persecuted animals in the world. I was oblivious to the fact that individuals, our environment and our legislation, admire bats. It’s alright, I understand it now. Without bats we could be swamped in a swamp full of blood-hungry sucking mosquitoes. Bats are serious insectivores and their populations are on the decline. For this reason alone, they need our protection. But beware, homeowners who unwittingly house them may end up paying for this unconditional love. It is good to avoid this issue completely, by not buying into a house with bats.

If you are interested in purchasing a home that is on the old to older side, it won't hurt to look for signs of bats. Chat with your building inspector before an official house inspection and see that he/she is savvy to these indicators. The below signs may be sign of bats settling in your to-be home:

Staining:

Look for unusual brown or grey stains in areas where bats might potentially enter the home. These entry points may be attic vents, cracks and holes under rotted eaves, where a chimney meets the house and openings where the pipes and wiring enter the house. The main characteristic of these stains is that they are oil based and difficult to remove.

Guano:

Guano is a pretty, Spanish name for bat poo. The droppings will be found around the roost site. Guano droppings are pellet-like and give off a particular scent. This ammonia or musky smell may be present near the roosting bats, notably in the summer. In the months of winter, the odor reduces as the bats have either moved or are hiding. Guano brings the most dangerous issues in housing bats. Inhaling dust that contains fungal spores found in guano can cause a serious lung infection. Histoplasmosis is the name of this fungal lung disease associated with bat droppings.

Chirping:

 

If your inspector thinks they hear the sweet chirpings of baby birds, have them double check that this cute social chatter is not emerging from a bat colony. Bats noise chatter is same like that of birds.

The motive for all the worrying forewarnings is not that bat flat-out creep me out. Yes, I was terrified when I first saw one flying about our house. Now, after having done some research, I have gained a vast respect and curiosity for these amazing mammals of the night. Still, who wants to live with bats? The reason to consider checking for signs of roosting bats is that they can be very tricky to remove. You can't poison them. It is illegal and otherwise ineffective. Proper bat removal usually involves an intervention by a bat removal company. The company will use exclusion methods to remove the bats and seal up any potential re-entry points in your home. Depending on the size of the bat colony and how long they have settled, the damages, re-insulation, guano clean-up and repair can be expensive and time consuming. So buyers are careful of bats. Yes, they are vital ecosystem managers and need to be protected. Let them be protected by our laws and not by our roofs.

THE BIG BAT FACTS:

- Bats are the only mammals in the world using natural flight.

- Bats can eat 500-1000 insects per hour.

- Bats are protected in the United States and should never be harmed or killed.

- Bats make up nearly one-quarter of all known mammal species.

- Bats use echolocation, a kind of natural sonar, to navigate and locate food.

- Bats are gentle, passive creatures that will only bite in self-defense if they are picked up and handled.

- Never touch a bat with your bare hands! Though rare, sick bats may have rabies.

- Bats can crawl through openings as little as 1cm in diameter.

- In the past 20 years, close to 80% of the country's bat population has been lost.

- To assist protecting the bat population, construct a bat house. It may attract bats to settle near, though not in your home!

 

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 13, 2018

Be Careful and Diligent When Leasing Your Real Estate to the Government

 

GSA (General Services Administration) leases over 150 million square feet of space from private building owners in over 2000 communities.  This makes them an extremely important player in the real estate community. Because of the unique terms and conditions contained in government releases, buyers of office buildings where the government is already a tenant basis the learning curve.

The number of potential conflicts between the building owner and government tenant increase as the square footage under lease increases. Some investors assume wrongly that entering into a lease agreement with the government is the same as a standard commercial lease.

The examples below the list rate some of the many unique terms and conditions in government leases back and have a big financial impact:

They use a standard tax escalation clauses stating that the amount of any increase in taxes about the first fully assessed year will be paid in a lump sum payment. Yet buried in the contract is a clause that requires the lessor to submit the tax escalation claim within 60 days of the tax payment date. If they miss the deadline, the lessor forfeits the entire escalation. 

When they want to make alterations to space, the GSA may ask building owners to sign a “waiter of restoration” clause, stating that when the lease ends, it won’t be required to restore the space to its original condition.  Some owners think that by refusing to sign the waiver, they stop any alterations. But in a standard lease, there is a clause that allows alterations to take place.  The protections for owners lie in the fact that, by refusing to sign the waiver, they may be able to force a restoration when the government tenant moves out.  Keeping good records is critical for this.

Conflicts occasionally occur, and when they do, there’s another interesting clause that comes into play.  The day contract disputes that clause outlines procedures to follow its owners have a disagreement with the government they can’t resolve through negotiations. It allows of building owners to submit a claim against the government by simply writing a letter to the government contracting officer outlining the basis for the claim and the amount.  The government contracting officer can then negotiates, pay the client, or issue a denial of the claim.  The denial of clay is in the form of a “final decision” which is misleading because the decision is not final. If the owner doesn’t agree with what the contract in officer decides he can appeal to a board of contract appeals which renders unbiased decisions. This is all basically done by mailing a letter.

Finally, there could be things and bad things related to government leases. To prevent any unfriendly surprises, owners should do their groundwork and know their preferences in the event of conflicts.

 

Posted in Selling Your Home
Aug. 12, 2018

Basics Of Home Buying

The most important investment you will ever make is probably the purchase of a home. Finding the right home for you can be a long and arduous process, but there is no getting around that.

Know Your Wants And Needs

Before embarking on your journey of house hunting, you must know what you really want to find. Sit down with pen and paper and list all the features you care most about, such as:

- Location (in a particular city, school district or neighborhood)

- Size -- how many bedrooms and bathrooms

- Parking -- a 1-car garage or 2?

- Style -- 2-story house or ranch style home?

- Heating -- central heating and/or air conditioning?

Equally important, on a new sheet of paper list all the features you absolutely do not want in a house. For example:

- High-traffic area.

- High noise area (airport, train station or highway in close proximity)

- Maintenance -- major repairs needed

As you look at houses, keep both lists in mind. Your lists may change over time as you do more looking. You'll want to add or remove features, or perhaps you'll become willing to make compromises. Understand that you most likely will not see the "perfect" home. Knowledgeable homebuyers will let you know that perfect homes are not found, they are perfectly made through hard work.

Get Your Credit Report in Order

Before looking at properties, you must get your money in order. This is the time to review your credit report and clean it up, if need be, to maximize your credit score. Many people do not realize how important it is to check your credit report periodically to make sure it is accurate. You should settle any past amount due, or bargain a settlement price to close the balance. Get such settlements in writing, before making any payment. Keep all receipts for any settled items from your credit report since it may take months to get the debt actually removed.

Research Your Home-Buying Options

Decide what kind of property you are interested in. Do you want a HUD property, a foreclosure, real estate, or property for sale by owner?

A number of web sites list homes according to the city, state, or price range. Visit these sites to see pictures of homes, many with virtual tours, and review the listing features.

Get Pre-Approved For A Loan

You're ready now to find a lender and get yourself pre-approved for the loan. Being pre-approved offers a number of advantages. It will clarify the price range you can afford. Also, once you find the home you want, you can place an immediate offer. If you have to wait for pre-approval, someone could buy the house right out from under you.

Numerous special programs are always available from lenders, such as the FHA or Ameri-Dream that can save you money in the end. Ask the lender about any special programs before you decide on a loan.

Find A Good Real Estate Agent

It is sensible for the first time homebuyer to work diligently with an estate agent, no matter what type of property you're searching for. A knowledgeable real estate agent will make your house-hunting much easier. A reputable real estate agent is typically a great negotiator and will be able to assist you with the complex paperwork involved in making an offer on a house or in deal closing.

It's essential that you have a real estate agent working for you as the buyer, rather than relying on the seller's agent for the house you want to buy. The seller’s agent can add a conflict of interest, which normally works to your disadvantage.

To choose a real estate agent, you should talk to your friends and neighbors for suggestions. Look for an agent you feel comfy with and who is familiar with the area you wish to buy in.

These are simply the essentials of home buying. You will find many details you need to master as you go through the process of buying, but having these essentials below your belt will give you an advantage.

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 11, 2018

Bankruptcy And Buying A House - Is It Smart To Buy A House After Bankruptcy?

 

Every year, millions of individuals file for bankruptcy as a way of removing their consumer debts. While this method may get rid of stress, a bankruptcy is harmful and will overhang your head for the next decade. Yet, it is likely to overcome bankruptcy. The key is making better credit and financial choices. With this in mind, some people decide to buy a home after a bankruptcy. Here are some pointers to consider when purchasing a home.

Reasons to Delay the Buying Process after Bankruptcy

On the chance that you ask mortgage or financial experts, they will possibly discourage you from purchasing a home after a bankruptcy. After your bankruptcy is discharged, there is a black cloud that looms over your credit report.

When any potential lender evaluates your report, they will be alerted of your current or past bankruptcy. In some cases, this justifies an instant denial. On the other hand, there are lenders eager to help you establish or rebuild your credit. Thus, they will approve a loan request. Nonetheless, the penalties are steep.

Upper mortgage rates can be expected when buying a home after bankruptcy, particularly if you have not established other credit accounts. Mortgage lenders consider two factors: credit scores and credit reports.

Although a bankruptcy appears on your credit report, having a high credit score will increase your odds of getting a comparable rate. Unluckily, if you buy instantly following a bankruptcy, you will not have the chance to increase your score.

Reasons to Buy a Home after Bankruptcy

Financiers will approve mortgage loan applications one day after a discharge. So, it is possible to buy a home after a bankruptcy. Buying a home is just perfect for rebuilding credit. Moreover, it is the quickest way to increase your credit score.

After a bankruptcy, the average person has a credit score below 600. Good credit consists of credit scores 650 and above. Maintaining current mortgage payments will gradually increase your score. After two years of regular payments, you will have established a good payment history. Hence, you may qualify for a low rate refinancing, which may lower your mortgage payments.

 

Posted in Buying a Home
Aug. 10, 2018

Avoiding Extra High Financing Costs

 

Did you know that there are ways for you to pay less while you own more?  If you correctly know how to work with the real estate market, then you can as well find means to prevent additional financing costs.  By searching the right area to concentrate on for your investment, you will be capable of paying lower amounts without additional charges.

One of the simplest ways to prevent extra costs is to ensure that you pay your loan on time.  Typically, mortgage companies will include additional finances if you don't pay by a particular date that they have fixed for you.  Over a definite amount of time, this can make you pay hundreds of additional dollars in funding at one time.  Staying ahead and consistency will assist you to keep charges stable and lower.

Obviously, understanding the loan selections that are available to you can as well assist you to prevent financing cost.  Some homes will require that you invest more, and some loan programs will likewise ask that you invest a bigger amount.  You will also want to ensure that this will be useful to you in the long run or you will want to look into a different type of plan.  The plans that you invest in for mortgages will make a huge difference in how much you pay in general and how much you pay every month. 

The finances don't stand alone when you are trying to prevent extra costs.  The worth of the property that you are financing will likewise make a difference.  The goal for any real estate investment is that there should be a high-quality home for a lower price.  You want to get as close to this goal as you can.  Even if you pay on the home for a while, it will allow you to benefit later on with the investment that you have made.  You will have the ability to have more returned to you when you decide to invest in something bigger and better. 

 

Real estate financing can be beneficial if you approach it correctly.  Understanding how all of the parts of your loan, your home, and your individual need works together can help you to find the best deal.  Over time, you will not only have a home to live in but will also have an investment that can help you to make the most of what you have. 

 

Posted in Real Estate News
Aug. 9, 2018

Avoid Legal Battles over Broker Commissions

 

Agreements on commission that explain how brokers are paid normally use form documents.  The commission method sometimes varies; however, the terms and conditions always remain the same.  Accordingly, normal terms and conditions of commission agreements are sometimes overlooked by owners and brokers after the agreement is signed.  Because the broker’s income is tied to the terms of those arrangements, serious attention to details are important to all parties involved. 

Latest lawsuits stemming from disagreements over broker commissions disclose strong lessons about the worth of paying serious attention to agreements on commission. 

An owner of a building in Detroit was forced to pay a commission for the reason that the initial arrangement did not have a termination or expiration date.  The building owner claimed that there are a number of important terms understood and agreed to before signing the agreement that was not included in the final agreement written.  The judge overruled this argument by stating that the contract was clear as written. 

Judges and juries are not real estate professionals.  The term “procuring cause” may have a normal meaning in the real estate business, but mean nothing to a judge.  All the parties involved must ensure the language is understood.  A jury or judge will not reword a contract to save either party from a bad business judgment.

Even when a favorable commission contract is successfully bargained and written, it’s not OKAY to just file it away.  Any party cannot claim they fail to remember the agreement. 

The lesson here is to judiciously note vital terms and conditions, particularly those that relate to compensation, performance, and termination. 

Legal battles are not exceptional to any location.  Juries and judges nationwide are displaying fighting put terms into commission contracts or let parties overlook contract terms.  Recently there’s been an increase in the number of disputes.  Some have settled out of court, yet a fair number have gone to litigation.  This can still go back through the efforts of owners and brokers who put more time and effort putting agreements together and holding to them.  This is the best way of avoidance. 

 

Posted in Real Estate News
Aug. 8, 2018

Appraised Value: The Ups & Downs Of How Much A House Is Worth.

 

Understanding the Fair Market Value is an everlasting tussle and key balancing act. The reason is that buyers need a house to appraise on the low side—to keep the buying price down. While sellers, on the other hand, need the same house to appraise on the high side—to make the sale price go higher. And then you’ve got the house owners —who likewise need the appraisal to be on the low side, so as to keep the estate taxes down.

So with these different goals and viewpoints, how is the fair market value of an estate property really determined?

Once every year, your district sends all area homeowners official notifications that put a dollar worth on their property. And estate property taxes are based on those dollar values. But before those notifications are sent out, a long, detailed procedure usually happens. First, the land is valued as if it’s empty—that is to say, a vacant lot. Then any maintenance is defined and measured. Maintenances consist of the house and any other edifices, sheds, pools, garages, and etc. secondly, most districts check the Marshall Valuation Service Cost Guide. It’s a standardized nationwide guide for defining the price of the cost per square foot to erect a building that fits the description of the maintained property. Next, in case the house isn’t brand new, the replacement cost is measured, and also the depreciation; the year the house was built and the condition of the property are elements here. Appraisers then must take the serious step of matching the value of the house with the latest selling prices of comparable homes in the area. Then, the appraisal might stand “as is”—or it might be reviewed downward or upward.

Market Value is a theory that is to say— not an unchanging fact.

In a seamless world, you have to have a buyer willing to buy and a seller willing to sell. None is under pressure. Both are in a position to capitalize on profit and are trying to do this. However, in the real world, things are hardly that simple and equally balanced. This is why people feel differently about the appraisal value of a house. It actually depends on how strong their position is as a buyer or seller.

Does the local economy come into it at all? You bet it does.

Ask a successful Realtor about that! He or she will inform you that they’ve seen that the Rio Grande Valley’s fast-growing economy is drawing people from other neighborhoods who consider real estate here a deal. That assists fuel rises in property values.

So—now you know where that Grand Total originates from.

You’re armed with the information you need to make a better house-buying decision. For example, you can know how two almost identical houses that are in two different areas could be very far apart in price and appraised value. And the reason your choice of the right house in the right neighborhood could be value a not-so-small fortune to you right now—and years down the road.

 

Posted in Real Estate News